Emily is an accomplished and respected photographer and I am very excited about her blog. Her second entry - "Where Do I Go From Here?" -is about Polaroid's recent decision to no longer manufacture Instant Film. A true heartbreak for photographers like Emily and I.
Where's Emily? (Polaroid Collage) © Nina Buesing
Photography has at last become a firmly established discipline in the art world, while commercial photography -- in my opinion-- has become less and less interesting. Of course there are still people who do great work and who put heart into their (commercial) work, but these are the exceptions. I do think, like Emily points out on her blog so wisely, that it has to do with the technological developments -- note I am not calling them advances ;) --of the medium. Of course some parts of the digital workflow are much better for the environment, and I would not like to go back to the days before Photoshop, but I really think that the combination of digital and analog is best .
I never thought I would see the day when film would no longer be available at all, and I took comfort knowing that at least in some of my work I would for the rest of my life be able to incorporate film, but I am no longer so sure about that. Maybe the day when film is no longer available is not so far away.
Next thing you know I will regress further and make my own glass plates. I already have a cyanotype kit at home (Maria is the one who inspired me to go back to that old technique that I learned in art school-- the same Maria who is currently printing true c-prints for her next solo show!).
But it is not only a question of preference; it is also a question of means. You can buy a used Hasselblad, with outstanding optics, that is so genius in design that it will last you a lifetime (if they continue to manufacture 120 film!) for less than 3K, while a new digital Hasselblad's equivalent will run you at least 35 K -- and it probably won't last you a lifetime. And while a mechanical Hasselblad went to the moon and most places on earth, I am not sure how well the digital Hasselblad would perform in the sub-artic circle (magnetic interference, extreme cold) or for how long it would work if you kept it in your house on the Caribbean sea in Belize (extreme humidity, salt).
Emily is right, I think if you have an opinion on this you need to express it and I also think you should forward it to Kodak,
Here is some contact information for those companies:
Kodak: email:firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
Click here for Fuji or write to them here via snail mail: Fuji Photo Film USA, Inc.
Ilford you can reach via this email at: USInfo@Ilford.com or write to them via snail mail here:
In the meantime head over to Emily's blog: emilyshur.blogspot.com ; add it to your RSS feed and enjoy some Polaroids she took in